The ABCS of Storing Produce: From Apples to Zucchini

chia fiber fresh fruit healthy muffin gluten free dairy free option healthy recipe prepare ahead storing tips vegetables Jun 03, 2024
Containers of Prepared Vegetables

The ABCs of Storing Produce: From Apples to Zucchini

 

Properly storing fruits and vegetables can make all the difference in keeping them fresh, tasty, and nutritious. From apples to zucchini, each produce item has unique storage needs. Understanding these can help you minimize waste, save money, and enjoy fresh produce for longer periods. Let's explore the best ways to store your fruits and veggies.

 

 Fruits and Vegetables Storage Guide

Produce

Best Storage Method

Notes

Apples

Refrigerate

Keep away from other produce to prevent premature ripening.

Avocados

Ripen on counter, then refrigerate

Keep cut avocado and keep the pit and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

Bananas

Counter

Separate from other fruits; freeze overripe bananas for smoothies.

Berries

Refrigerate, unwashed

Wash just before eating to prevent mold growth.

Carrots

Refrigerate in water

Keep in a container of water; change water every few days.

Citrus Fruits

Cool, dark place or refrigerate

Last longer when kept cold.

Grapes

Refrigerate, unwashed

Keep them dry and wash just before eating.

Leafy Greens

Refrigerate in a perforated bag or damp towel

Keeps them from wilting.

Peppers

Refrigerate in a crisper drawer

Keep them dry and unwashed until use.

Tomatoes

Counter

Refrigerate only when overripe.

Zucchini

Refrigerate

Place in a plastic bag with a few holes for air circulation.

 

Storing Tips and Tricks

Fruit Bowl: A fruit bowl on the counter is a great way to encourage healthy eating, but keep in mind that it will hasten the ripening process for some fruits. Apples, bananas, and tomatoes emit ethylene gas, so keep these separate from other fruits to prevent premature ripening.

 

Use First: Some produce spoils faster than others. Use berries, leafy greens, and asparagus first. Items like apples, carrots, and potatoes have a longer storage life and can be used later.

 

Freezing for Future Use: Many fruits and vegetables can be frozen to prevent waste. Bananas, berries, peas, and green beans freeze well and can be used in smoothies, baking, or cooking.

 

Very Berry Muffin Recipe (Low Fat, Low Sugar, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) 

Ingredients:

- 1 cup wheat flour or almond flour 

- 1 cup gluten-free oat flour

- 1/2 cup sauce or coconut sugar

- 1 tsp baking soda

- 1/2 tsp salt

- 1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

- 2 large eggs (or flax eggs for vegan)

- 1/2 cup milk or unsweetened almond milk

- 1/4 cup applesauce

- 1 tsp vanilla extract

- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

- 1 tbsp chia seeds

- 1 tbsp flax seeds

- 1 tbsp hemp hearts

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix almond flour, oat flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk eggs (or flax eggs), almond milk, applesauce, and vanilla extract.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients, then gently fold in berries, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp hearts.
  5. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

Nutritional Breakdown (per muffin):

- Calories: 150

- Protein: 4g

- Carbohydrates: 20g

- Fiber: 4g

- Fat: 6g

- Sugar: 8g

 

Conclusion

 

Properly storing your produce not only keeps it fresh but also ensures you get the most out of its nutritional value. By following these storage tips, you can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables all year long.

 

Quote: "Eat your fruits and veggies to live long and strong."

 

Affirmation: "I am committed to enjoying fresh, healthy produce every day, nourishing my body and mind."

 

For more Nourish to Flourish tips and ideas, click the link provided and keep your meals vibrant and fresh!

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